Jason Blake

After three months, Anaheim’s Blake returns from severe wrist cut

Helene Elliott of the LA Times reports that tonight — for the first time since Oct. 14 — Jason Blake will suit up for the Anaheim Ducks.

Blake suffered a catastrophic wrist injury against San Jose in Anaheim’s third game of the season. His forearm was slashed by the skate of Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, causing severe tendon damage that required surgery. Blake actually left the ice on a specialized stretcher that kept his arm upright (here’s rough video footage of the incident.)

“It’s been a tough, long road that I had to go down,” the 38-year-old Blake said. “It’s been an uphill climb and I feel like I finally got to the top of the hill.”

This isn’t the first time Blake has faced adversity. In 2007 he announced he’d been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia — a rare, but highly treatable form of cancer. Blake went on to play all 82 games for Toronto that season and capture the Bill Masterton Trophy.

As for where Blake will play tonight? He’s been practicing on an “old-guy” line with Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, though it’s hard to imagine Blake playing a full slate of shifts/big minutes after missing so much time.

“Initially, he’s missed 38 games so we don’t really know what we’re going to see,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the OC Register. “I know he’ll have a lot of energy but we’ll see how long the energy lasts. It’s tough to come back, it’s almost like a training camp revisited for him type of thing.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.